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Urban Sustainability Research Guide: Background Information

Why do I need background information?

Once you have identified some keywords, the next step is to find background information on your topic. Background research:
  • Provides a good overview of the topic if you are unfamiliar with it.
  • Helps identify important facts -- terminology, dates, events, history, organizations, important scholars, etc.
  • Can help you identify or refine your topic.
  • Leads to bibliographies which provide additional sources of information.

Use the Gale Virtual Reference Library linked below to search for background information about your topic.  Enter your term or phrase, find "Overview" type articles to find out the background, sub-topics, and literature reviews.  This will help you to uncover key words, key dates, key names and events or legislation which will help you narrow and focus your topic.